Hubert Eyck/The Bridgeman Art Library/Getty Images
The Ghent Altarpiece, or Adoration of the Mystic Lamb, completed in 1432 by Jan van Eyck
While enjoying the overall aura of holiday cheer on Christmas day, I could not help but ponder on an article I read earlier that day. The article entitled "Is This The World's Most Coveted Painting?" (Link Below), discussed the history of Jan van Eyck's Adoration of the Mystic Lamb. I find that the actual history of the painting sounds like something out of a Hollywood film. As intriguing as the history is, that is not the reason for this post.
In 1934, the lower left panel of the painting was stolen, and the panel has never been recovered. Since then a copy of the missing panel has been placed in the original's absence. Was this a good idea? Later in the article, it states that the copy was so good that people actually believed it to be the original. If a piece of art work is stolen or misplaced, is it fair to the viewing audience if a copy is placed on view until the original is returned (if ever)?
NPR Article: http://www.npr.org/2010/12/25/132283848/is-this-the-worlds-most-coveted-painting